It is definitely against the law to deceive another for money. Every person offering consignment software on the Internet has an obligation to his potential customers to disclose the situation they would be in if/when he is no longer in business.
In the past no programmer has issued an open warning that he may be or is the only person who can fix problems with his software. Quite the contrary, the common strategy is to adopt a company name, put up a website, get a toll-free number and call his little operation a 'company' - giving us the false impression of plurality and dependability.
Some are so brazen as to think that their personal assets will be protected by operating an as LLC, which apparently emboldens them to say anything and do anything to make a sale.
An example of this type of misleading aggrandizement was a programmer in Miami referring to himself as a CEO of a corporation "with offices in New York and Miami". It turns out that 1. There was no corporation (therefore he was no 'CEO'); 2. The office in New York was actually a college buddy's apartment in New Jersey, and 3. The office in Miami was an apartment in a condo building.
The same individual used the word 'we' throughout his web site and public communications and made suggestions of plurality in his 'organization' by referring to 'corporate servers' (when there was just one rented shared computer involved). He referred to sales 'teams' and service 'teams' comprised of 1 person each.
The illusion is that there are multiple people involved in the creation and support of the program when in fact 'he' is the only person on the planet who could understand 'his' programming so once he's out of the picture, so is support for the software.
When confronted with the ruse, this person offered a weak comeback to the effect 'When you have such a great product it doesn't take a lot of people to support it'. It may be far more accurate to state that very few people are interested in paying $1300 plus add-on fees plus annual service fees for a program written and supported by one person (who by the way has already dumped support for a few people who purchased his pawn-software program).
The real issue is that a company of one dies when the person who comprises the company dies, or becomes disabled, or finds something more lucrative or interesting to pursue (or goes to jail for fraud).
Deceiving others for personal financial gain is the definition of fraud. Attempting to create the illusion of reliable support (where support is totally and solely dependent upon one person) is deception. It covers up the real risk of wasting a lot of money on a situation that was not disclosed prior to taking peoples' money.
Could someone else step in and take over? Possibly, but the first thing existing customers would hear is "Your software provider is out of business. We are taking over. Any promises, contracts, offers or guarantees made heretofore are null and void. Here's how much it's going to cost you for continued support of this software."
Solutions to situations like this are to report fraud to your States Attorney and purchase software from reputable developers like Resaleworld and Best Consignment Shop Software who really do have 'teams' comprised of different people for sales and marketing, customer and technical support...
As a side, there are tons of so-called IT technicians these days. There should be very very few issues that require more than an hour or two to resolve so if you're getting billed for more than that, it's time for a second opinion.
Secondly, because there are so many techs available to help, paying $100 per hour and more for help is just outrageous. These are not highly-trained professionals so avoid anyone quoting high rates. No body is that good!